Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar launched ‘Amul Honey- a product of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF)’ under active cooperation with National Bee Board (NBB). Tuesday in the presence of Union Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairying Parshottam Rupala. Addressing the launching event, Tomar emphasised the importance of National Beekeeping and Honey Mission in increasing the income of small farmers, which is being implemented in the country for doubling income of farmers and beekeepers through beekeeping with the budgetary allocation of Rs. 500 crore.
Tomar said that there are 86 per cent small farmers in the country. In order to increase the income of these small farmers, it is necessary to connect them with other dimensions of agriculture like beekeeping.
Speaking on the occasion, he expressed that the quality of honey is a major concern in the country for which five large scale Regional Honey Testing Labs and 100 Mini Honey Testing Labs are being set up all over the country. “It should be our constant effort that the quality of our honey products should also meet the global standards as there are lots of export opportunities in this sector”, he added. The minister assured the beekeepers and farmers of the country that Government of India would provide all necessary support for promotion and development of beekeeping in the country.
Appreciating efforts made by Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), Tomar said that Amul had not only set up a milestone in the direction of the White Revolution but it also expanded in the milk processing sector and established itself as a global brand. Besides this, Amul also provides employment opportunities to marginal farmers and significantly contributes to the overall progress of the country in the dairy sector. The minister also assured GCMMF that the agriculture ministry would look into the proposal for establishing a testing lab in Gujarat.
Parshottam Rupala congratulated GCMMF on launching its honey product. He also expressed happiness that Amul Honey was being launched after testing it as per the global standard. He said that promoting beekeeping and selling honey through cooperatives would give a boost to the rural economy. He also encouraged farmers and beekeepers that along with honey, they could also produce additional by-products of beekeeping such as beeswax, pollen, royal jelly, as these products have high demand and better prices in Indian and international markets.
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Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary (A&FW) said that after implementation of National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM), the whole scenario of beekeeping in the country had changed and thrust was being given on assuring the quality of honey, aggregation of beekeepers, providing infrastructural facilities including honey testing labs, Madhukranti portal to stop adulteration in honey production.
Speaking on the occasion, RS Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation mentioned that dairy cooperatives and their infrastructural facilities could be simultaneously used for Amul Honey production through their established set up of 84 dairy plants overall the country.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Kailash Choudhary and Shobha Karandlaje; Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Atul Chaturvedi along with senior officials of the MoAF and MoAHFD were present at the occasion. Shamalbhai Patel, Chairman, GCMMF; Valamjibhai Humbal, Vice Chairman, GCMMF; Shankar Chaudhary, Chairman, Banas Dairy joined the launching event virtually from Gujarat.